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Top 21 Canadian mountain bike moments of 2021: Part 2

Podium buddies and making Rampage history

Brandon Semenuk Red Bull Rampage 2021 Photo by: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

2021 was a big year for mountain biking in Canada and for Canadians mountain biking around the world. After a year of disruption, domestic racing started to return. Internationally, Canadian riders had more opportunities to race and took full advantage. This year’s best moments mix race results and other milestones.

With so much going on in 12 months, we’re breaking this down into four parts. Part one looked at the Olympics, women’s freeride, downhill milestones and racing at home. This week we turn our attention to making history at Red Bull Rampage, World Cup downhill, and on screen.

Top 21 Canadian mountain bike moments of 2021: Part 2

Kurt Sorge, Brandon Semenuk and Reed Boggs on the 2021 Red Bull Rampage podium. Photo: Catherine Aeppel / Red Bull Content Pool

Brandon Semenuk’s fourth Red Bull Rampage win

Brandon Semenuk has a long history at Red Bull Rampage but, until this fall, he was tied for most wins at the Utah freeride festival with fellow Canadian, Kurt Sorge. Sorge, who hails from Nelson, B.C., was the first to hit the trifecta. To take the record, it was Sorge who he had to beat again. And it was close. Semenuk scored an 89.00 to Sorge’s 88.33 to win 2021 Red Bull Rampage and become the first rider to win the iconic event four times.

Finn Iles and Mark Wallace on the podium together at Snowshoe World Cup DH #1. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Finn Iles and Mark Wallace make Canadian downhill history at Snowshoe, W.Va

Finn Iles and Mark Wallace are both frequent features on downhill World Cup podiums but, until the first Snowshoe, W.Va race of 2021, the two had never stood on a World Cup podium together. Iles’ fourth place and Wallace’s fifth place that week wasn’t just a good outing for them, it was historic. It’s the first time two Canadian elite men have shared a World Cup podium.

Jesse Melamed 2021 Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team
Jesse Melamed. Photo: Margus Riga

Jesse Melamed third overall at Enduro World Series

Enduro World Series headlines may have been dominated by the battle between Jack Moir and Richie Rude this year, but Whistler’s Jesse Melamed was quietly having an incredible season. The Canadian finished on several EWS podiums and, impressively, never placed outside of the top-10 on a race, Pro Stage or Queen Stage. That incredible consistency earned him third overall in the series. A solid season after his big 2020 result. Then Melamed returned home and won the Canadian national championships in wild conditions in Whistler.

Crankworx Summer Seriex N.Z. Cardrona Air DH
Vaea Verbeeck and Bas van Steenbergen. Photo: Clint Trahan / Crankworx Summer Series

Bas van Steenbergen and Vaea Verbeeck win King and Queen of Crankworx

Bas van Steenbergen and Vaea Verbeeck are partners in life and, now, share a throne too. The two Canadians earned their royal designation in the globetrotting Crankworx World Tour at the final round in Rotorua, New Zealand. It’s Verbeeck’s second crown, defending her title from 2019. For van Steenbergen its his first coronation after years of trying.

Tom van Steenbergen’s Wild West II

There were many good video parts in 2021, but this sequel was truly – as its name suggested – wild. It’s hard to beat Semenuk’s effortless-looking edits or the creative style of Brett Rheeder’s creative Continuum, but Tom van Steenbergen’s mix of new-school style and classic Freeride in Wild West II is staggering. Huge, risky features and stunts and a foot plant front flip? What the actual heck. We’re hoping he’s healing well after his Best Trick to biggest crash combo at Red Bull Rampage because we can’t wait to see more of this.